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UK expects boost in number of Chinese tourists over Chinese New Year

(People's Daily Online)    15:07, January 28, 2019

The UK is expecting a boost in the number of Chinese visitors as Chinese New Year approaches, this year falling on Tuesday, Feb. 5.

Flight booking data showed that bookings from China to the UK were up 24 percent from Wednesday 30 January to Tuesday 12 February, compared with the Chinese New Year period last year. Longer term booking data shows that bookings from China to the UK were up 31 percent from January to June this year compared to the same period in 2018.

VisitBritain is expecting 483,000 visits from China in 2019, up 43 percent from 2017, with Chinese visitors expected to spend more than £1 billion this year, up 50 percent, moving China well into the UK’s top 10 markets.

The UK is gearing up to host some of the largest Spring Festival celebrations outside of Asia. Events include a three-day celebration in Liverpool, parades in Manchester, festivals and performances in Birmingham and Leeds, a street parade from Charing Cross to Chinatown in London and the first ever Chinese New Year festival in Edinburgh.

VisitBritain Director Patricia Yates said, “China is an important market for VisitBritain, and we want to provide a world-class experience and welcome for Chinese visitors who travel here. We’re building on the growth we have seen, working with partners such as British Airways and Ctrip to convert the inspiration to visit into bookings and making it easier to visit and explore more of the UK through regional gateways, driving our ambitious plans for growth."

She added that with 2019 being the Chinese Year of the Pig, the UK have added opportunities "through the rising popularity and profile of iconic British brands such as Peppa Pig in China, to connect with millions of potential visitors to the UK and promote associated visitor attractions, destinations and experiences.”

The perception among Chinese people of Britain as a travel destination is clear. China ranked the UK second out of 50 nations for its overall brand in the 2018 Anholt Nation Brands Index. Visitors from China are some of the UK’s highest spenders, spending an average of £2,059 during their visit, more than three times the all-market visitor average. (Tianxing Bai) 

(For the latest China news, Please follow People's Daily on Twitter and Facebook)(Web editor: Bianji, Hongyu)

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